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PETER HITCHENS: Let's turn back time – until we have not messed up our clocks


The story is told by the old woman (it may even be true) who lived alone with her cat in a small wooden hut on the border between Russia and Belarus.

One day, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, these two places became separate countries. An officer knocked on her door.

"Sorry to bother you," said the bureaucrat, "but we have to get the line right now." Right now it's running right through your kitchen. We can't have that. So you can decide where to go. We really don't mind, but would you prefer to be in Belarus or Russia? "

She thought for a moment and said: "Definitely Belarus."

Anyone who goes to work, whose children go to school, who relies in any way on schedules or broadcast schedules, has been forced to do everything an hour earlier than needed since March 29 (file photo)

The inspector made a note of this, but couldn't help but ask: "Out of interest, why is that?"

And the old lady replied, "I just can't stand these long Russian winters."

She was no longer fooled than we were when we turn our clocks insane back and forth, supposedly to get more daylight. Just as the freezing snowstorms blow in Belarus and Russia alike, the amount of daylight stays the same whatever your watch says.

This morning Britain returned to its natural time zone after seven long months of lying every clock in the country. In any case, I welcomed this with joy.

Anyone who goes to work, whose kids go to school, who relies in any way on schedules or broadcast schedules, has been forced to do everything an hour earlier than they had to since March 29th. I get up pretty early without being dragged out of bed any earlier by this stupid edict.

Every year, in the weeks that follow, it certainly causes several preventable heart attacks in time-delayed people, writes Peter Hitchens, pictured above

Every year, in the weeks that follow, it certainly causes several preventable heart attacks in time-delayed people, writes Peter Hitchens, pictured above

I can't find any hard evidence that it does or has ever done the slightest good. Every year, it certainly causes several preventable heart attacks in time-delayed people in the weeks immediately following.

It makes it harder for kids to get up in the morning and put them to bed in the middle of summer. It has forced long-distance commuters (like me) to rise in the dark for the past few weeks.

Imagine what would have happened if it had been done more honestly. Imagine if your children's school had written you in March to get them to school an hour early. Imagine if your employer emailed you that you had to be at work an hour earlier for the next seven months. I think a lot of people would have "why?" And possibly said "no".

But the yearly clock change has become a habit and nobody really thinks about it. And everyone does what they're told.

Many people are so amazed that they are never sure whether the clocks should go forward or backward. But they do it anyway.

I only understand it because I flew backwards across the international date line from Siberia to Alaska once from Monday morning to the previous Sunday afternoon and lived twice on the same day. It was then that I understood the difference between official time and real time.

There is an unchanging natural time that stays the same, but we play around with it. Noon, sunrise and sunset are actual events that have to do with the relationship of the sun to the exact part of our planet that you are standing on. And governments that play around with clocks to lie grossly about them often try to manipulate their people.

Our madness to change the clock resulted from a national panic during World War I. Parliament had opposed faddist campaigns for years to introduce so-called summer time (a deceptive term).

When the German Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered in April 1916 that every clock in the German Reich be blocked forwards in an alleged way to intensify the war effort, British MPs panicked. They had done the same within a month. We have suffered it more or less since then.

And because politicians and media types tend to get up late and go to bed late and usually never see dawn, it has always been popular with them.

Almost every year around this time (but never in March) they launch a campaign to "just leave the watches where they are" in the reasonable hope that most people will not realize what this means until it becomes too is late.

Some of them are even trying to put us permanently on the same time as Berlin, which would mean that the sun wouldn't rise much before 9 a.m. in London in December and wouldn't set until 10.20 p.m. in June.

They call their campaign "lighter later" but it would be just as true to call it "darker" later.

The point about this strange feat is that no one can really justify it with hard facts. Still, we've been doing this for more than a century. Does that remind you of anything? It certainly reminds me of something.

Unreason and habit are powerful forces that are far more powerful than common sense and common sense today. Panic becomes a habit.

I wouldn't be surprised if in 2120 your great-great-grandchildren were still forced to wear face coverings that are tracked and tracked all over the world and are always 7 feet away.

A golden cast in a drama as boring as lead

The BBC's terrible, shameless tendency is actually stronger and more effective in drama than in news and current affairs. A left-wing plot in Call The Midwife will affect a lot more people than a boring left-wing documentary.

And that's why it still broadcasts the embarrassingly bad works of leftist idols like Alan Bennett and Sir David Hare, who have been pampered for so long that they don't have to strain to be good anymore.

Now Sir David's four-part political drama Roadkill has got everything the BBC can offer – good and famous actors including Hugh Laurie, obviously expensive production and big commercials.

However, the result is a large jiggling mass of tin, lead, and cardboard. You have to laugh, especially at the serious things.

Sir David doesn't seem to have noticed anything since the 1980s. He no longer knows how politicians dress, speak and act. He has even less idea what newspapers are like (which is why he may not have answered an awkward question I asked him over two years ago. I'm still waiting, Sir David).

Only anger will end this misery

Johnson, the man who ruined Britain, continues to stomp the countryside like a mad giant, crushing small businesses, wiping out jobs and then throwing fun money at victims as if it could bring back what they lost forever.

In this way he achieves nothing. The crisis he claims to be dealing with exists only in twisted statistics and shameless propaganda.

No suspicion that he could be wrong seems to have crossed his mind. Those of us who have tried to use facts and reasons to change our minds are more or less desperate. The funny money is visibly running out.

Increasingly, I fear that anger is the only force that will end this misery. I hope not, because that will bring new misery. Can't nobody reach him while there's still time?

Johnson, the man who ruined Britain, continues to stomp the countryside like a mad giant, crushing small businesses, wiping out jobs and then throwing fun money at victims as if it could bring back what they lost forever

Johnson, the man who ruined Britain, continues to stomp the countryside like a mad giant, crushing small businesses, wiping out jobs and then throwing fun money at victims as if it could bring back what they lost forever

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